The Pleasure Dial by Jeremy Edwards
1001 Nights Press
Published Oct 21, 2013
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The year is 1934, and amiable New York gag writer Artie Plask has taken the West Coast plunge. His first day on staff with a top radio show introduces him to the irresistible Mariel Fenton, a wit among wits who immediately takes an interest in all aspects of Artie's life--especially his private life.
As Artie finds his feet in a world of blustering comedians, pansexual sex goddesses, timid screen legends, exhibitionistic scriptwriters, and self-infatuated geniuses, Mariel leads him on a zany journey up and down the pleasure dial--a giddy romp through Hollywood that's chock-full of airwaves showdowns, writing-room counterplots, devious impersonations, naked meetings, and a sensuality-drenched assortment of erotic escapades.
What worked for me:
When I picked this book up, I was intrigued by the combination of humor and eroticism that the blurb suggested. I also like to pick up romance and erotica by male authors because these tend to be female dominated genres. I appreciate different perspectives, and I was *not* disappointed by this read.
Zany is definitely the word for The Pleasure Dial. From Artie Plask's first up-skirt conversation with Trixie - a mannequin - to the final climax of the story, I thought it was so cleverly written. I was worried when I started the book that it would be silly and low brow, but it was never that, and the comedy never turned demeaning either, which was important for my enjoyment.
Edwards maintains quick paced, intelligent dialogue that often turns to innuendo and word play. Having radio play writers as main characters might have been a challenge for a lesser author, but Edwards pulls off believable conversations that emphasize the characters' love of words.
Nearly all the characters in this book are sexual, active and pretty free-spirited. The sex is not without kinks - shockingly (and refreshingly) the BDSM and bondage themes so popular in erotica are not well represented here. Edwards manages to write sex that is funny and titillating and intriguing. His women know what they want and go for it and his men are happy to oblige. This is a world that I want to spend more time in!
Beyond this, the plot moves so quickly - there's crosses and double-crosses, characters in disguise, plans that seem completely out of left field and yet also oddly perfect for the problems they're intended to resolve. It's so well packaged and put together, all I could do was hang on for the wild ride.
What didn't work for me:
There's nothing overtly 'con' about this book. I guess if you're looking for something really sexy and serious, then this is a poor choice? All I know is that I really enjoyed it, far more than I expected!
If you've got a sense of humour about sex, and a love of words, then you've got to check this book out. It's entertaining, well-written and within my experience, entirely refreshing.
For fans of comedy & erotica, people with a sense of humour, lovers of words and irreverent humour.